Dow leading Solo, 5.9*
routes are best combined with the northeast face of the Sentinel
for a full day of climbing. Gateway’s routes are short and the approach takes just minutes. The routes are all located on the north side of the formation and are therefore mostly shaded.
Although short, most are worth doing.
Dow leading In the Pit, 5.10a*
takes large gear to protect. I am used to running out off-widths, but still made the effort to stop at the mid ledge, rap and return to the truck for a C4#5 and #6.
The upper corner involves physical lay back exposed climbing at the grade right off a ledge. A #5 and/or #6 are the only pieces that protect this upper corner. If it was more straight in off-width I would have just soloed it as the name implies but it is slightly overhung and feels exposed. Broken Glass (5.10a**)
is the easiest lead of the three starred (Miramontes guide) moderates. Straight forward curving splitter. In the Pit (5.10a*),
as it suggests, is in the infamous Chasm
that so many in Jtree have a hard time locating. It is a short splitter on the right wall that has an exposed crux off the deck. Fingers to hands. Semi Tough (5.10d**)
looks like a stellar route I did not get to.
Located just minutes from the Real Hidden Valley parking area. Take the trail that takes you to the nature loop trail and right before you reach the loop there is a climbers path on the left that leads to the base of Solo which is easy to distinguish with the wide upper crack below a roof. Just meters to the right is the obvious curving splitter Broken Glass. Exit back to the nature loop trail, take a left and then meander back in to the wall to find the entrance to the chasm. The best feature to locate here is the obvious featured trough that is Semi Tough. The Chasm’s entrance and aptly named route In the Pit, is just to the left of Semi Tough. All of these routes can be scrambled down with a 5th class move here or there, right or left. I found no fixed raps in 2017.
Route Description(s)Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the North Wall
Hands Away- 35’-5.9/
Lay Back and Do It- 35’-5.11a/(top rope)
Solo- 60’-5.9*/This is an obvious route as seen as you circumvent the base of the formation. The obvious part is a clean wide dihedral that hits a roof. Follow a thin crack to a ledge, nothing memorable. Then lay back a wide off-width crack. I am an avid off-width climber, but still needed to lay back which of course feels insecure on such a wide crack. I placed a C4 #5 and #6 on this lead and would not lead it without them. The roof pull/mantel is easy in comparison. Gear belay. I tunneled through and down-climbed a chimney to climbers right. Dow
Broken Glass- 50’-5.10a**/Broken Glass is easier than Solo (5.9) to the left or In the Pit (5.10a) to the right. Single rack through hands and ring locks. Easy to spot from Solo, an arete crack to the right of two chimneys in between the routes. Gear belay. I down climbed climbers right directly in front of the entrance to the Chasm and In the Pit route. Dow
In the Pit- 60’-5.10a*/Located at the entrance to the famed Chasm, a tunnel experience often enjoyed with a full moon. This route is stout off the deck via slight face features and stemming that lead to an engaging finger crack. A few stiff moves finds easier crack climbing via fingers and eventually hands. Down climb back east. Single rack micro to medium. Dow
Pit Bull Attack- 50’-5.10d*/
Semi Tough- 60’-5.10d**/